Brighton and Hove Albion are in danger of setting an unwanted club record on Saturday of nine successive top-flight home matches without a win. To make matters worse, they welcome defending Premier League champions Liverpool to the Amex Stadium in Saturday’s early kick-off.
Victory over Liverpool would give them back-to-back league wins for the first time since November 2019. A win could even lift them above Manchester City in the table for a few hours at least.
To do that, though, Graham Potter’s men will need to overcome a torrid record against Liverpool; they have lost each of their last nine meetings with the Merseysiders by an aggregate scoreline of 27-7, conceding twice in the opening eight minutes of the corresponding fixture last season.
Tariq Lamptey is sidelined through suspension following his red card against Aston Villa, while Adam Lallana will be assessed ahead of kickoff, with a groin problem threatening to deny him a reunion with the club he left in the summer.
Leandro Trossard is now back available, while Solly March, Davy Propper and Aaron Connolly are also expected to be passed fit for Saturday’s match.
Alexis Mac Allister will miss out due to coronavirus, while Florin Andone, Jose Izquierdo and Christian Walton are also likely to play no part.
Liverpool are still rife with injuries, especially defensively. Van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold all remain sidelined for this match.
They were boosted by the returns of Mohamed Salah and Rhys Williams against Atalanta. Salah is likely to start again this weekend, and his record against Brighton suggests that he could be a key figure, with five goals and three assists in six previous Premier League meetings.
There is no getting away from the fact that Brighton are huge underdogs going into this game. Brighton have never won a top-flight home game against Liverpool, drawing three and losing four.
But even with this in mind, there is still a glimmer of optimism for the Seagulls. Liverpool were incredibly poor midweek against Atlanta, coming out on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline.
Admittedly it was far from their strongest starting XI, but this is a Liverpool side that are not used to losing. The pressure will be on Klopp to dominate Brighton with relative ease.
Therefore, this is a perfect time for Brighton to play Liverpool; they have nothing to lose. Liverpool’s defence is vulnerable; Potter must exploit this and not be tempted to have eleven men behind the ball at all times.
Brighton need to take the game to Liverpool and attempt to do the unthinkable. Potter’s side have already given Chelsea and Tottenham good games this season there is no need to give Liverpool bags of respect.
If last weeks game agains Aston Villa is anything to go by then we should be in for an open and exciting game. I think there will be plenty of goals, but ultimately Liverpool’s quality upfront will be enough for them to leave victorious.
My prediction: Liverpool 3-2 Brighton